May 21, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Media and Communication Studies, PhD

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study

Program code: MCOM-PHD

The PhD in Media and Communication Studies (MCOM) is designed to develop scholars who are prepared to conduct advanced research and are experts in three primary areas: communication theory; the impact of media on culture; and the production of media texts. Graduates will synthesize knowledge from domains within the communication field and related disciplines as they assume leadership roles in diverse professional environments. The 60-credit program prepares students through coursework in culture and theory, media research, and media production with an emphasis on current and emerging technologies. Upon completion of the PhD in Media and Communication Studies, the graduate is prepared to:

• conduct research that enables organizations to effectively implement communication skills and media messaging

• apply research, an understanding of culture, and media production skills to the development of new media

• analyze and interpret the social, cultural, and political dynamics of media environments

• design, produce, and utilize media within a variety of cultural and professional contexts

• synthesize existing media and emerging technologies


Student Qualifications, Support, and Advisement

To apply for the PhD in Media and Communication Studies, begin by submitting your application to Graduate Admissions

The link will take you to “IUP Admissions Login.” Click the link on the bottom that reads “First time user account creation” and request a Banner ID and PIN.  The application will be available after you log in. All applicants must submit the following materials for review to:

Office of Admissions
Sutton Hall, Suite 120
1011 South Drive
Indiana, PA 15705
or via e-mail to

Materials to Submit

Students seeking admission to the PhD in Media and Communication Studies must satisfy the minimum School of Graduate Studies and Research requirements and have a master’s degree. International students are required to comply with the admission criteria as outlined in the graduate catalog.

Applicants to the MCOM PhD program must submit the following for review by the doctoral program committee:

  • Official higher education transcripts (undergraduate and graduate)
  • Curriculum vitae or resume
  • Writing sample: a sample that reflects your ability to do academic work and research such as a published work, a paper presented at a professional conference, a major paper for a graduate-level course, or other academic writing
  • Two letters of recommendation directly addressing your ability to work at the doctoral level
  • Professional goal statement addressing why you are interested in pursuing doctoral studies in this area, your long-term professional goals, and preparations you are undertaking in anticipation of acceptance into the program
  • Applicants will also be required to provide a written and oral response to a research question or problem.

Upon review of completed applications, the MCOM faculty admissions committee may invite the applicant to participate in an admissions interview, either in person or via video conferencing.  The committee determines whether to accept, waitlist, or deny each applicant.

Degree Candidacy

Each student admitted to the doctoral program is eligible for doctoral degree candidacy after successful completion of twelve graduate credits in the doctoral program with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher. To obtain candidacy, the student must successfully complete a written candidacy examination.

Comprehensive Examiniation

The comprehensive examination will be used to determine the student’s progress in the field of Media and Communication Studies and the student’s likelihood of success in the research-dissertation phase.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study